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Is The FD806 Giant Any Good For Short Touring?

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Is The FD806 Giant Any Good For Short Touring?

Old 09-18-16, 04:47 AM
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johanhorak
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Is The Giant (Halfway, Expressway 2, FD806) Any Good For Short Touring?

Why am I asking such a potentially dumb question?

In 25 years my wife and I never road a bike.

We are keen to do short touring (no camping as my wife does not understand camping), therefore light on panniers.

We will do two weeks to a month as we get into the touring idea.

Potentially we will start touring along river paths - to limit hills and passing cars.

But just looking at this FD806 Giant (below) I think I see a problem; the pedals reach so far back that any panniers will be in the way.

FD806 Giants Specs.
The weight is not light at 13KG.
Full specs here.



I would like the Dahon Vitesse D7 but we have no importers to South Africa and they are expensive to bring into South Africa.

I can get 3 "new" second hand FD806 Giants $705 ($235 each if I take all three) or $300 each if I take two. It seems like a bargain. But who wants a bargain if it's a dud. I suppose if Thomas Stevens could go around the world on a penny-farthing then my question is irrelevant.

BTW: I can also get hold of an Expressway 2 Giant at $300 and from the image below it looks as though there is more space for panniers. Specs here.


And a Half Way Giant at $450 Specs here.


See the following quote on the Halfway from here:

Originally Posted by MnHillBilly View Post
It's about 35 lbs. weight.

It is a bit more of a commuter ride - if I were going to do a tour with it, I'd have to switch out the stock saddle, but the tires and the feel of the frame don't have any appreciable difference for me from my full-size bikes.

And no, the hubs aren't quick-release, but there are few folders I know of that are true quick-release. The genius of the single-fork is that you don't actually HAVE to remove the wheel to change tubes, it's just a matter of unclasping the brake pad and laying the frame down on the fork side to work, and voila.

* Our weight: I am 85 kg (187 pounds) and wife 75 kg (165 pounds).
* Height: 184 (6 ft) and 174 (5.7)
* Budget; Would like to keep it $450 per bike ($450x2)
* Riding experience: Very limited
* I am in South Africa Cape Town

I would consider importing a second hand touring folder but that may create other issues.

Someone suggested I fly owner to Europe on our next trip and buy bikes there. The problem is we need time on the saddle here in South Africa.

Hope you can assist.

Johan

Last edited by johanhorak; 09-18-16 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:00 AM
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jur
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I started in a similar situation; I got 1 Raleigh 20 and 1 Dahon-made Yeah, and upgraded both. Our 1st practice tour was on a level bike trail over a few days, and after that we hit Tasmania which has some big hills and passes. I did a lot of research in advance to know what would be on our path so nothing was unexpected. That helped lots.

The bikes were sort of irrelevant; I just made sure we could ride them without heel strike on the panniers. I used standard racks instead of smaller folding type. With a little ingenuity everything worked fine.

The 2 tours can be found on my page Jur's cycling photo albums/photo essays, 2nd and 3rd link. Maybe there is something helpful there. The fully loaded bikes were used on the Tassie tour.

Will you be getting some practice in RSA? I bought a lot of stuff online but already had a year of riding experience by the time we started touring. I also built up knowledge in that time which helped a lot. I got super fit by riding to work every day.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:32 AM
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Folding bicycles are like laptop computers: if you need one, you need one, why ask why. But if you don't need one, then you will get much more bang for your computing (cycling) dollar with a conventional desktop configuration.

I had a Giant 1/2way for many years and loved it. For folding, it cannot be beaten. The design, however, is compromised for ultimate (touring) performance and the seat-post is much too long and will fail eventually. And mine also failed at the bottom bracket and Giant replaced it under warranty with an Expressway 1 which I still have and ride quite often.

The Expressway is a less convenient fold, but it is admittedly a better open road performer. It might be possible to put a front derailleur on an Expressway but that would be out of the question with a 1/2way. The gearing of the Expressway is also better.

But why folders for touring? Are you flying with the bikes, or stashing them in the baggage compartments of motor coach buses? If you are riding from your home to local destinations then I for one cannot see the appeal of a folding bicycle over a conventional one.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:50 AM
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johanhorak
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
I started in a similar situation; I got 1 Raleigh 20 and 1 Dahon-made Yeah, and upgraded both. Our 1st practice tour was on a level bike trail over a few days, and after that we hit Tasmania which has some big hills and passes. I did a lot of research in advance to know what would be on our path so nothing was unexpected. That helped lots.

The bikes were sort of irrelevant; I just made sure we could ride them without heel strike on the panniers. I used standard racks instead of smaller folding type. With a little ingenuity everything worked fine.

The 2 tours can be found on my page Jur's cycling photo albums/photo essays, 2nd and 3rd link. Maybe there is something helpful there. The fully loaded bikes were used on the Tassie tour.

Will you be getting some practice in RSA? I bought a lot of stuff online but already had a year of riding experience by the time we started touring. I also built up knowledge in that time which helped a lot. I got super fit by riding to work every day.
Thanks. I will check your links. We will be doing practice runs with fully packed bikes and cycling around Cape Town. We will also have a year's practice before we go for the longer trips. I saw another guy suggests "driving" potential routes with Google to see if there are shoulders and even how busy the roads are. I need to gently get my wife into it as she is not as bold as I tend to be.
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Old 09-18-16, 10:00 AM
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johanhorak
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Folding bicycles are like laptop computers: if you need one, you need one, why ask why. But if you don't need one, then you will get much more bang for your computing (cycling) dollar with a conventional desktop configuration.

I had a Giant 1/2way for many years and loved it. For folding, it cannot be beaten. The design, however, is compromised for ultimate (touring) performance and the seat-post is much too long and will fail eventually. And mine also failed at the bottom bracket and Giant replaced it under warranty with an Expressway 1 which I still have and ride quite often.

The Expressway is a less convenient fold, but it is admittedly a better open road performer. It might be possible to put a front derailleur on an Expressway but that would be out of the question with a 1/2way. The gearing of the Expressway is also better.

But why folders for touring? Are you flying with the bikes, or stashing them in the baggage compartments of motor coach buses? If you are riding from your home to local destinations then I for one cannot see the appeal of a folding bicycle over a conventional one.
I agree with your philosophy "why ask why?" - very true.

What are the major difference between these two? I saw another forum guy said he did not like the unintentional wheels he got out of the Halfway. Probably for the same reason, you referred to that the seat-post is much too long. It would not be fun having panniers on the back and this bike is on its back wheel all the time

I get the idea from your writing that the Expressway is the best of the two. I should probably wait until I get two Expressways rather than the Halfway.

Why folders? Yes, we will be flying with the bikes. And with a wife not good with heavy traffic it's best that we hitch a ride when we have no option but travel through a city.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 09-18-16, 02:00 PM
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I believe that was my comment on unintentional wheelies with the Halfway. Really wanted to like the bike, and in some respects I did, but those wheelies were a dealbreaker, so I wound up selling it. Wish I would have known about that particular aspect of the Halfway before I purchased it, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have bothered. There are a lot of folders available today, so at least your choices are more varied than even a few years ago.
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Old 09-18-16, 04:35 PM
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I Like my Xootr Swift very much and it can be used for everything except off road. They are normally 799.00 but right now have a sale for 599.99. The folding bike forum has a lengthy Swift entry which explains all this to the Nth degree. They do not fold as well as many other bikes but ride nicely and have a proprietary rack available that eliminates the heel strike problem. You may have serious import tariffs, but, if not, I think they are excellent bikes which are sturdily built.
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Old 09-18-16, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
I believe that was my comment on unintentional wheelies with the Halfway. Really wanted to like the bike, and in some respects I did, but those wheelies were a dealbreaker, so I wound up selling it. Wish I would have known about that particular aspect of the Halfway before I purchased it, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have bothered. There are a lot of folders available today, so at least your choices are more varied than even a few years ago.
Man, I am so happy for that comment. Deal breaker. Haha. Your bad luck saved me big time. Thanks for sharing. I'll buy the beer or you can stay with us when you ever come to Cape Town.
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Old 09-18-16, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
I Like my Xootr Swift very much and it can be used for everything except off road. They are normally 799.00 but right now have a sale for 599.99. The folding bike forum has a lengthy Swift entry which explains all this to the Nth degree. They do not fold as well as many other bikes but ride nicely and have a proprietary rack available that eliminates the heel strike problem. You may have serious import tariffs, but, if not, I think they are excellent bikes which are sturdily built.
Thanks. I'll investigate the import tariffs and check out the forum on feedback.
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Old 09-19-16, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by johanhorak View Post
Thanks. I'll investigate the import tariffs and check out the forum on feedback.
If you do opt for a Xootr Swift, it's one of the most loved bikes here. It's worth importing,...
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Old 09-20-16, 04:04 AM
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Jur experiences are a good reference. I would also look at downtube if you do want a folder.
Birdie is a lot more money but you can get four panniers on one if set up correctly.
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